Updated 05 Dec 2014

Retford Grammar School

Go to MENU

Bernard Beasley

Physics master 1926-62
by John Palmer

Bernard Beasley joined the School as the only Physics master in 1925 and died while second Master in 1962. He taught the author his favourite subject, and became his favourite teacher. He was kind, patient and often sucked a peppermint as he explained the structure of the atom. His shoulders shook as he laughed. What I never knew was that he ran a small holding with poultry, tractor and plough. My thanks to him for guiding me to a Scholarship in Physics at U.C.L. London.

The Retfordian, Dec 1962, page 4

Mr P.B.C.Beasley

The sudden and unexpected death of Mr Beasley on Saturday 20th October, has shocked and saddened us all. Apart from an injury to his foot - characteristically he treated this very lightly - he had been very fit, in the best of spirits and playing his full part in the life and teaching of the School.

Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley was just old enough to serve in the First World War. With the coming of peace, he went up to King's College, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences: then, after teaching in Cornwall and in Switzerland, he joined the staff of King Edward VI Grammar School in September 1925.

For thirty-seven years he gave loyal service to the School; never missing a day but for his one serious illness in 1958. A delightful, dry sense of humour (better known perhaps to colleagues and Old Retfordians than to junior members of the School!) made it a pleasure to work with him. He had a burning sense of justice and fair play; he was always ready to stand up for the rights of colleagues or of pupils. Above all, we valued his immense kindliness which showed itself fully in the welcome and encouragement he gave to the younger Masters.

Alone of the present Common Room, Mr Beasley remembered Mr Skrimshire as Headmaster. Residential duties with the boarders of Merton House were an early responsibility of his; later he was for many years Overend Housemaster. Appointed as the one Physics Master, he became the Senior Physics Master, working in friendly collaboration with Mr McNeil. His kindliness, and Mr Beasley's, when they fetched Elizabeth from Yorkshire after the tragic death of Duncan and Mary McNeil was profound.

At all times Mr Beasley took an immense interest in the welfare and progress of individual boys. Many have cause to remember with gratitude the special "borderline" classes in Physics which he took for many years after school in the Certificate term. Others, who went on to the Universities, owed much to the solid grounding he had given them, and even more to the fact that he had taught them how to work.

In January 1958 he was appointed by the Governors to succeed Mr McFerran in the high responsibility and dignity of Second Master. It was in these later years that a love of music found its expression in his unfailing encouragement of school singing and in his valuable advice on all electrical and acoustical equipment.

The School has sustained a great loss: his colleagues, with his many other friends, suffer a personal sorrow. Our fullest sympathy goes out to Jimmy, to David, and above all, to Mrs Beasley.

Kings College - Cambridge University
Annual Report of the Council by King's College (University of Cambridge):
Page 20 - 1963

“PATRICK BERNARD CHARLES BEASLEY was for thirty-seven years a master at King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, and Deputy Headmaster at the time of his death from a heart attack on October 20, 1962. He had never missed a day of school, but for one illness in 1958, & he was teaching the day before he died. Born on January 3rd 1900, the son of Dr. H.C.Beasley, he was for ten years at Epsom College, & won an Exhibition to King’s in Natural Sciences before joining the Royal Artillery in the last months of the war. He was demobilized in time to come up in January, 1919, & he graduated in 1922 with a Second in Part I & a Third in Part II. After a year at Newquay College & another at Chillon College in Switzerland he settled down at Retford in 1925, teaching Sixth-Form Physics & Middle-School Mathematics & Science. He also had tutorial duties in the boarding house, & after the Second War was Housemaster of Overend House until 1958. He married Miss Barbara Bell in 1929, & they had two sons.

Bernard Beasley had a number of private interests, notably high-fidelity radio, photography & motoring. He will be remembered by generations of Retfordians for his delightful, dry sense of humour, his passion for justice & fair play, his interest in boys who needed special coaching, & his encouragement of school singing.”

    The Retford Gainsborough & Worksop Times
    Fri Oct 26th 1962

  1. “Death of Mr. P.B.C.Beasley
    At the age of 62, Mr. Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley, of 74 Tiln Road, Retford, who was Deputy-Headmaster of the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, died suddenly at his home on Saturday.
    Mr. Beasley, who served in the first world war with the Royal Artillery, was an exhibitioner of King’s College Cambridge, where he read natural sciences.
    His first teaching post was on the staff of Newquay College, after which, for a time, he taught at Chillon College in Switzerland, before his appointment as sixth form physics master at the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, in 1925.
    Later he was appointed senior physics master & in 1958 became Deputy-Headmaster on the retirement of the Rev. W.P.McFerran.
    For many years Mr. Beasley was housemaster of Overend House.
    He leaves a widow & two sons”

  2. “Sale at short notice. Sale today.
    The late Mr. P.B.C.Beasley.
    Have been instructed to Sell by Auction, on the Premises, at
    Including 184 Light Sussex Cross Cockerels (8 weeks old onwards); 155 White Leghorn Cross Rhodes (Just in Lay.) Two Small Poultry Houses; a Timber & Felt Laying House, chiefly Sectional, measuring 20-ft. 6-ins, X 16-ft., with perches, dropping boards, nest boxes & wooden floor. Various Feeders, Drinking Troughs & Feeding Equipment.
    A Fordson Standard Tractor on pneumatics, with Cultivator & a Two-furrow Semi-digger Trailer Plough.
    Sale to commence at 12.30 promptly.
    On view on the Morning of Sale.
    Full particulars from HENRY SPENCER AND SONS, 20 The Square, Retford (Tel. 531/2)”

  3. Acknowledgements
    "BEASLEY. - Mrs Beasley, of 74 Tiln Road, Retford, wishes to thank all relatives & friends for their kind thoughts, messages of sympathy & floral tributes at this time of her bereavement"

  4. “Many Mourners at Funeral of Mr. P.B.C.Beasley
    Colleagues on the teaching staff, members of the Governing body & boys & old boys of the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford, of which he was Deputy-Headmaster, were among the mourners at the funeral on Wednesday of Mr. Patrick Bernard Charles Beasley, whose death is reported on page 1.
    The service at St.Saviour's Church was conducted by the Rev. W.A.Williams, Rector of Ordsall, who was assisted by the Curate, the Rev. Peter Bailey.
    Mr. J.C.H.Glover, Headmaster of Edward VI Grammar School, read the lesson - Revelations Chap 21.
    In paying tribute to Mr. Beasley, the Headmaster spoke in high appreciation of his 37 years service with the school. Firstly as the only physics master, & later as head of this department.
    His long service to the school he said included many years as a house-master, & for the last 5 years as second master.
    Concluding, Mr. Gover paid tribute to Mr. Beasley’s five special points – his loyal service, sense of humour, sense of fairplay, his kindness & his love of music.
    Mr. H.W.Bramma F.R.C.O., Director of Music at the school & organist at St.Saviour’s was at the organ & the trebles of the school choir led the signing of one of Mr. Beasley’s favourite hymns “Lift up your heads Ye mighty Gates”.
    Internment followed at Retford Cemetery.
    Chief mourners were-
    Mrs. Barbara Beasley (widow); Mr. & Mrs. James Beasley, & Mr. & Mrs. David Beasley (sons & daughters-in-law); Dr.H.E.Beasley (brother); Mr. Eric Bell (brother-in-law); Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Bell (brother-in-law & sister-in-law); Mr. C.M.Bloore; Mrs. A.G.Schultz; Mr. & Mrs. R.Griffiths & Mr. & Mrs. K. Griffiths (Friends)…..”

Passport photo 1924, probably to go to Chillon College, Montreaux, Switzerland.

Henry Cecil BEASLEY married Millicent Detta HOUGHTON at Ledbury in June 1894
1901 Census for Ivy Lodge, Church Road, Village, Ashford, Staines, Middlesex
Henry Cecil  BEASLEY     Head  Marr  M  32  1869  Medical Practitioner   Liverpool, Lancashire
Millicent D  BEASLEY     Wife  Marr  F  35  1866  -                      Leyton, Essex
M P M        BEASLEY     Dau   Sing  F   6  1895  -                      Chatham, Kent
Henry Eric   BEASLEY     Son   Sing  M   4  1897  -                      Chatham, Kent
Patrick B C  BEASLEY     Son   Sing  M   1  1900  -                      Ashford, Middlesex 
Margeret     Chowne      Serv  Sing  F  19  1882  Nurse Domestic         Stoke Newington, Middlesex
Edith H      Fairbrother Serv  Sing  F  27  1874  General Serv Domestic  Ashford, Middlesex
1911 Census for Epsom College, Epsom, Surrey
Patrick B C  BEASLEY     Inmate (infirmary) M  11  1900  School          Ashford, Middlesex
Henry        BEASLEY     Boarder            M  14  1897  School          Chatham
1911 Census for 114 Grange Road, St Lawrence, Ramsgate, Kent
Henry Cecil    BEASLEY  Head  Marr  M  40  1871   Medical Practitioner      Lancashire Liverpool
Gertrude Eva   BEASLEY  Wife  -     F  28  1883   -                         Hampshire L
Wilfred Cecil  BEASLEY  Son   -     M   4  1907   -                         Sussex Bognor
Aileen         BEASLEY  Dau   -     F   0  1911   -                         Kent Deal
Susan Mary     Palmer   Serv  Sing  F  20  1891   General Servant Domestic  Kent Ramsgate
Millicent Phyllis M BEASLEY born 17feb1895 died Q4 1969 Bournemouth
Patrick B C BEASLEY married Mar 1929 E.Retford to Barbara BELL
James P BEASLEY born Mar 1931 East Retford
David BEASLEY born Jun 1936 East Retford


----Anyone with more details for publication on this webpage,
please email ----

Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved.